Kele Okereke has argued that gay mainstream artists need to do more for the LGBT+ community.
The Bloc Party front-man is one of the most high-profile out gay stars on the UK music scene right now, alongside the likes of Years & Years singer Olly Alexander and our October cover star, Sam Smith.
In the latest issue of Attitude – available to download and in shops now – Kele suggests that some openly gay stars aren’t doing as much with their mainstream visibility as they could be.
35-year-old Kele, who recently teamed up with Olly Alexander for a groundbreaking new duet, tells us: “I’m not that excited about the fact that, of the mainstream gay artists working at the moment, [it doesn’t seem] as if many are taking the mantle and trying to push our community forward.
“I don’t want to call people out, but I think that’s why it was a big deal for me to be able to sing with Olly Alexander. It felt real. I was able to be real.
“I don’t see many gay artists in the mainstream being that real, to be honest.”
The singer then goes on to add: “There’s still a long way to go for gay artists to go in terms of being fully realised and being able to express themselves.”
Kele’s desire to do more for the community and his defiant attitude toward those who don’t show their support is one of the reasons he’s become such a figurehead in the music industry when it comes to LGBT+ representation.
Speaking to Attitude back in 2010, he revealed that he had faced pressure not to speak about his sexuality in public following the band’s rise to fame following the release of their 2005 debut album Silent Alarm.
“One of the band members told me he didn’t think I should talk about it right now. Which I found surprising,” he recalled at the it time. I never really forgave him for it, to be honest.”